We have a problem.
In 2016, everyone expects Democrats to have an outstanding year. It will have a high-profile presidential election, with good turnout among Democrats. In the race for the White House, Democrats have the advantage of a “blue wall” – a number of states on the East and West Coasts and Great Lakes that are not only very populous, but very unlikely to vote for a Republican. It may be a close election, but we are confident that another Democrat will be elected president in 2016.
For the Senate, the seats that are up for election that year are favorable to Democrats. Republicans will be on the defensive in Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – all states that voted twice for President Barack Obama, yet have a Republican senator up for reelection. Most experts predict that Democrats will retake the Senate in 2016.
The problem is the House of Representatives.
Even with truly record-setting Democratic performance in 2016, hardly anyone expects Democrats to win enough seats to retake control of the House of Representatives. The last presidential year was 2012, when President Obama won reelection. In 2012, more Americans voted for Democrats than for Republicans for the House – 1.4 million more – and yet, Republicans easily retained control.
How is that possible? Because the deck was stacked against us.
Every ten years we have a census to count the population of the United States, and every ten years, we must redraw congressional district lines to reflect changes in the population. Republicans used their control of redistricting in several key states to redraw the district lines to favor Republicans. Five key states – Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, and North Carolina – now lean Democratic, and yet elect a heavily Republican House delegation.
They have taken full advantage of their control of the House. They have blocked progressive initiatives that would slow climate change and protect voting rights. And any bill that protects the right to abortion or tackles discrimination based on sexual orientation is dead on arrival.
Knowing that they can never lose, House Republicans are becoming ever more extreme. They have repeatedly threatened to force a default on United States debt. They have already shut down the federal government more than once, stalling the economy. Even as I write this, they are threatening to shut down the Department of Homeland Security, to force President Obama to split up immigrant families and deport the parents of American children.
I hope you're ready to take action. Because this year is when we start fighting back, and start taking control of redistricting for Democrats.
In the arcane process of redistricting, the key elections in most states are still years away. But the key election to reverse Republican control of redistricting in Pennsylvania is coming right up – it's this November. When it comes to congressional district maps, Pennsylvania is the most skewed state in the country. It has voted for a Democrat for president in every election since 1992. However, after the census of 2010, Republicans controlled redistricting. They redrew the district map, and Pennsylvania now elects 13 Republicans, and just 5 Democrats to the House of Representatives. A fairer map would elect 13 Democrats and 5 Republicans – a fairer district map would elect 8 more Democrats to the House. This 8-seat difference would go a long way toward Democratic control of the House.
Make no mistake – this will be the most important election of the next decade. And our opponents know it just as well as you and I do. The Koch Brothers have just committed to a campaign in Pennsylvania this year. With billions of dollars at their disposal, and many Democrats inclined to stay home on election day this year, it will be tough.
Our latest newsletter, with some more information on the Koch Brothers in Pennsylvania, the pending interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve, an article discussing an important book about the Supreme Court, and our regular updates.
We need your help to fight back against Republican redistricting, and fight back against the Koch Brothers. With your help we can put a stop to extremism in Congress. Please, donate here now of whatever you can, today. Your donation now will help determine whether Republicans control Congress for the next 15 years.
With the year coming to a close, and the election of 2014 behind us, you may be forgiven for thinking that our work is over for now. But our work doesn't end. The next year is just around the corner, and for an odd year, 2015 holds outsized importance. The election in November 2015 in Pennsylvania determines the fate of eight US House seats in 2022.
We must plan ahead to create the foundations for victory in the future. Every decade, we have a nationwide census, and congressional district lines must be redrawn to accommodate changes in population. Republicans plan their election strategy ten or more years into the future. We have not done that, and we have suffered as a result.
In the last redistricting after the census of 2010, Republicans took advantage of redistricting to draw the most lopsided congressional district map in the country in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania nominally leans Democratic; it hasn't voted for a Republican for president since 1988. But despite that, Pennsylvania sends a whopping 13 Republicans, and just 5 Democrats to the House of Representatives.
It's time to fight back. Due to the byzantine redistricting process, the key election to end this Republican gerrymandering is coming right up. In 2015, three seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court are up for election, and which party wins these seats next year will determine which party will control redistricting after the census of 2020.
Our plan is described in greater detail in the included newsletter. In addition, we have articles on the “Dapacratic Revolution”, the Supreme Court, the ongoing policing protests, our upcoming candidate boot camp, the recent diplomatic initiatives regarding Cuba, and updates on DAPAC-supported candidates who are now in office.
To help jump-start our efforts for the coming year, one of our longtime supporters has agreed to match all contributions, up to a total of $15 thousand, for the next few weeks. Any contribution you make before January 15th will have double the impact. Please donate here of whatever you can afford. Whatever you send today will be an investment for the years to come.
You may have heard that Democrats had a bad election this year. It may surprise you to hear that DAPAC Democrats did not have a bad year. It was a challenging year, but by and large, we rose to the challenge.
Every DAPAC Democrat running for reelection won. Two DAPAC Democrats won open seats in Congress. And DAPAC Democrat Tom Wolf, running in Pennsylvania, was the only Democrat to defeat a Republican incumbent governor this year. Not only that, but he's the first candidate of any party to defeat an incumbent governor in Pennsylvania history.
That's not bad at all. So how did we do it?
First off, we didn't shy away from what we believe in. DAPAC Democrats were not afraid to stand up for progressive ideals. DAPAC Democrats were forthright in defending the right to choose, defending the right to same-sex marriage, and defending our natural environment. Moreover, DAPAC Democrats pushed for a raise in the minimum wage, and pushed for wealthy Americans to pay their fair share in taxes.
Second, we've started on an effective get-out-the-vote campaign. Groups such as youth and Latinos are not in the habit of voting in midterm elections. We are working hard to get Democratic voters out to the polls, through proven methods of voter contact. We will not rest until every Democratic voter is voting in every election.
Moving forward, we plan to keep on doing what worked so well this year. But we have even higher ambitions. The economy continues to underperform for average Americans, and median incomes have gone nowhere in the past several years. We're putting forward a four point plan to bring the American economy back to life:
Lower taxes for the 90%, and higher taxes on the 0.1%
Raise the minimum wage
Free college tuition for everyone
Increase Social Security
You can find our latest newsletter, with details on who won and who lost. Also included are articles about Tom Wolf's win in Pennsylvania, the challenge of Latino voter turnout, and how the Senate filibuster impedes progressive policy.
We are succeeding. We are standing up for what we believe in, and we're getting voters out to the polls. We need your help to keep succeeding. This past election is over, but the next election is just over the horizon. Our work to elect DAPAC Democrats never ends. Please donate now, or whatever you can afford. We couldn't do it without you. Please send your donation today.
DAPAC supports progressive Congressional challengers. That's our mission; that's our passion. We interview dozens of candidates from around the country and talk to them not only about what kind of race they are going to run, but what kind of policies they favor. We screen every candidate to see where they stand on the issues that matter most.
We only endorse progressive candidates. When you give to DAPAC you know that these are the kinds of men and women you are helping to elect to Congress.
All our candidates:
- are 100% Pro-Choice.
- support stronger GBLT rights.
- support working family and union rights.
- support honest and Democratic markets and businesses.
- support publicly funded universal healthcare.
- support strong environmental protection.
- oppose the Patriot Act.
- oppose the Iraq War.
- oppose the Death Penalty.
DAPAC is working to rebuild the Democratic Party from the ground up - to support strong candidates who will give voice to the issues that matter most.
Endorsed Candidates for 2014
Bruce Braley, Iowa www.brucebraley.com
Jeff Merkley, Oregon http://www.jeffmerkley.com/
Joe Sestak, Pennsylvania http://joesestak.com/
House of Representative:
Pete Aguilar, CA-31 http://www.peteaguilar.com/
Will Bronson, FL-17 www.bronson-for-congress.com
Jim Bryan, FL-01 jimbryanforcongress.org
Alan Cohn, FL-15 cohnforcongress2014.com
Dan Cramer, TN-07 http://www.dancramerforcongress.com/
Keith Ellison, FL-19 www.keithellison.org
April Freeman, FL-19 http://www.aprilfreeman.com/
Lawrence Gaughan, VA-05 gaughanforcongress.com
Luis Gutierrez, IL-04
Alan Grayson FL-08 congressmanwithguts.com
Mary Headrick, TN-03 http://www.maryheadrick.com/
Robin Kelly, IL-02 http://robinkellyforcongress.org/
Dave Koller, FL-11, http://www.davekoller.com/
Ted Lieu, CA-33 www.tedlieu.com
Michael McKenna, FL-10 www.mckennaforcongress.com
Gwen Moore, WI-04 http://www.gwenmooreforcongress.com/
Shaughnessy Naughton, PA-08 www.shaughnessyforcongress.com
Wes Neuman, FL-07 www.wesneuman.com
Andy Ostrowski, PA-11 andyostrowski.com
Tom Poetter, OH-08 www.poetterforcongress.com
Domenic Recchia, NY-11 www.recchiaforcongress.com
Gabriel Rothblath, FL-08 gabrielrothblattforcongress.us
Bobby Rush, IL-01
Sharon Sund, MN-03 www.votesharonsund.com
Marihelen Wheeler, FL-03 wheelerforflorida3.com
Rob Zerban, WI-01 http://www.robzerban.com/
Sandra Fluke, CA-26 www.standwithsandra.org
Josh Maxwell, PA-74 http://www.joshmaxwell.com/
Wendy Davis, Texas Governor www.wendydavistexas.com
Mark Schauer, Michigan Governor http://markschauer.com/
Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania Governor www.wolfforpa.com
Candidate winners of 2012-2013
House of Representatives:
Alan Grayson FL-08 congressmanwithguts.com
Alan is running in a newly redrawn District which favors Democrats. He was defeated by a Tea Party wave in a much more conservative district. He is an aggressive outspoken liberal candidate who favors economic policies to support the 99% and good paying jobs.
Michelle Lujan Grisham, NM-01 www.michellelujangrisham.net
In her early law career she worked hard to protect and represent seniors' rights, so much so she was appointed Secretary of Aging and Long Term Services. She was also head of the New Mexico Department of Health where she helped to fight to make sure every child had access to primary health care.
Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayor http://www.billdeblasio.com/
Previous DAPAC Endorsed Candidates who have been elected to Congress
Bruce Braley, IA 1
Joe Courtney, CT 2
Martin Heinrich, NM 1
Jim Himes, CT 4
Paul Hodes, NH 2
Mary Jo Kilroy, OH 15
Gary Peters, MI 9
Chellie Pingree, ME 1
Jared Polis, CO 2
Allyson Schwartz, PA 13
Joe Sestak, PA 7
Chris Van Hollen, MD 8
John Yarmuth, KY 3